Howie Good is the author of more than a dozen poetry collections, including most recently The Death Row Shuffle (Finishing Line Press), The Trouble with Being Born (Ethel Micro Press), and Gunmetal Sky (Thirty West Publishing).
The land, to their amazement, seemed to constantly rearrange itself in wild new patterns of rage and decay. On the border, they saw small brown children languishing in lockups. On city streets, they saw young black men in police chokeholds begging for breath.
One day it’s my 33-year-old cousin found dead in bed from an overdose; another day, it’s high school seniors raising their arms in the Nazi salute for a yearbook photo; another, it’s government protesters washing with bottles of Coke to help minimize the sting of tear gas.
The other day a woman was pulled from the canal unconscious and not breathing. That’s when I realized I should have done something sooner – hanged myself from a ceiling hook or bitten down on the muzzle of a gun.
I looked down and saw blood drips on the floor and stairs. Everything became blurred. Men in dark glasses stopped anyone from leaving the building who displayed the willful expression of a would-be martyr. All I was trying to do was go home.